Ducks Take Charge in Maui Invitational Opening Round Win
LAS VEGAS –Behind 14 second half assists, Oregon took down Chaminade 73-49 in the first round of the Maui Invitational on Monday.
How it Happened: A slow start for both teams saw the Ducks play most of the first half with a slight advantage. Oregon got their first double-digit lead following a Franck Kepnang dunk that put the Ducks up 15-5. Eric Williams Jr. carried the team offensively in the first half, hitting three three-pointers, but slow shooting overall left UO with a seven-point 29-22 lead heading into the halftime break. Despite shooting just 29 percent in the half, Oregon maintained the lead over Chaminade by holding them to just 24 percent shooting on the half.
"I did like how hard we played. I thought we were a little more physical in the second half, took the ball to the basket a little bit more like we wanted, had more assists in the second half," said head coach Dana Altman. "So I thought our ball movement was better. We've got a long ways to go, but I thought we made a step in the right direction tonight."
A 9-0 run got things headed in the right direction in the second half, as the Ducks pushed it to a 38-24 lead to force a Silverswords timeout. Strong defensive play and teamwork were the stories in the second half, with the Ducks shooting 61 percent on 14 assists, holding Chaminade to 34.6 percent. De'Vion Harmon played a key role in stabilizing the team, netting 10 second half points. The Ducks pushed the lead to 20 and never looked back, giving some reserves a chance to see valuable minutes. Sophomore Gabe Reichle scored his first points of the season with a second half three-pointer, while Isaac Johnson finished with a career-best eight points on the night.
Who Stood Out: Eric Williams Jr. led the team with 14 points, followed by Harmon with 13. A balanced effort all around saw 10 Ducks score in the contest, seven of which scored eight or more points. Will Richardson dished out five assists to lead the team.
Up Next: Oregon awaits the winner of Notre Dame and St. Mary's, the matchup taking place at 5 p.m. tomorrow at Michelob ULTRA Arena.